– Jagdeo, Gajraj refused to grant visas to engineers
A new confectionary company, Sueria Manufacturing Inc., is determined to redefine the meaning of “candy heaven.” With its candies that feature more than just sugar as the principle ingredient, it is poised to reclaim the local market which has been flooded with foreign products. On Saturday last, the company was officially launched at its Eccles Industrial Site location. The complex is being operated by Frank Sanichara and his wife, Teshawna Lall.
Teshawna Lall said, “This is a significant milestone in our lives. Today marks the culmination of an innovative idea which began five years ago.
“My husband and I undertake separate duties to ensure its success. This company will strive to ensure perfection by confection, which is our mission, and our motto is, “sweet dreams do come through.”
More importantly, the businesswoman said that there has been an influx of foreign products taking over the local market and the new company will be one of the first steps in taking it back.
She noted too that the company has plans to expand its production as they are looking to produce bubble gum and packaged plantain and cassava chips.
Sanichara said, “The Ice Drops was developed with the same technology used for the popular Halls Mint. The Ice Drops is ideal for giving the right cool temperature and temporary relief from cold. The Ginger mint is being continuously refined to be the best in the world. We have developed as well, the Black Mint, which is our hallmark product. It is formulated for smokers to get rid of the smokey breathe. This is just a stepping stone.”
“We have acquired a machine for bubble gum but research is still being done to ensure international quality encompasses the product. We will be launching plantain chips in the next few months. We need to start seeing “Made in Guyana” when it comes to these products and not “Made in Trinidad and Tobago” in our supermarkets. We currently employ a staff of 20 and when we start sales we will triple that amount.”
Invitees were provided with samples of the company’s wide assortment of condiments. For the candies, they were featured in flavours such as Ginger, Ice Drops, Black Mint, Strawberry, Banana, Cherry and Pineapple.
Many who sampled them were quick to note that by its quality and taste, the Suri Manufactured candies set themselves apart from the usual hard and brittle oval blocks of sugar.
The manufacturing company also produces attractively packaged peanuts, also available in four flavours—sweet and salty mix, salted, hot and spicy and honey roasted.
Publisher of the Kaieteur Newspaper, Glenn Lall, who actually pioneered the project, traced the development of the company from the time a group of school children toured his newspaper plant five years ago.
“I remember walking into Kaieteur News and I saw 81 students who came for a tour. I asked them if it was their first time to Georgetown and they explained to me that before they arrived at Kaieteur News, they made a stop at a local candy factory.
“But then I noticed that they weren’t chewing on anything. They told me that they were not given any sweets.”
“It stayed on my mind. I called the manager of the company, who explained to me that the staff would often seclude some candy and put a box behind the door, then tell the students to take two.
“I said ‘no man this can’t happen.’ I said that even if I lose money I want this candy factory.”
He told the gathering that initially he experienced some hiccups getting the project off the ground because there were some problems regarding the issuing of work permits to the engineers from India who had to be hired to setting up the factory and train the local staff.
“this thing became so disgusting that I chucked in because former Presidemt bharrat jagdeo and guyana’s high commissioner to India Ronald Gajraj maliciously refused to grant the engineers visas to travel to Guyana.”
The government at the time even refused to grant a visa to one of the engineers who had an American visa.
“Their reason was that he did not have enough ties to come to Guyana. That is the extent to which they went to hamper a new manufacturing company. Yet they talk about their love for Guyana,” Lall stated.
All the while the equipment lay idle and it was only when his daughter got married four years later and a new president was elected that Lall resuscitated the project.
The businessman thanked President Donald Ramotar, who, when he came to power, did not oppose the visit of Indian engineers to help set up the confectionary company. Sueria Manufacturing is named after Glenn Lall’s granddaughter, Sueria.
Special thanks was extended GO-Invest, the Guyana Revenue Authority and Raja Ram, an engineer who spent 10 months away from family in India to help the Lall family get started with the business.
Business moguls such as Dr. Yesu Persaud and Hemraj Kissoon, joined President Donald Ramotar and First Lady, Mrs. Deolatchmee Ramotar, for the opening, at which they heaped praises on the young entrepreneurs.
Other guest speakers included, Former Justice, Claudette Singh, who spoke about her interactions with the Lall’s family.
President Ramotar in his remarks congratulated the family for their innovative idea and stressed that the family is a perfect example for other young entrepreneurs to follow.
President Ramotar added, “I like this type of investment. I am excited about the plans to manufacture plantain and cassava chips which will link to real production in our society. And if I may offer some advice, I would suggest that with such a venture, you go into some level of contract farming to have a ready market for your raw materials.”
The President then appealed to local supermarkets to have local products on their front shelves.
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